Five new traffic laws were brought into force and are described below.
Distracted Driving Laws
The current fine for distracted driving is approximately $200, but under the new laws, if you’re caught looking at your phone, talking or texting, while driving you will face larger fines. The new laws increases the distracted driving fine to $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. If you are a driver with only a G1 or G2, you could have your licence suspended.
The new law provides that drivers have to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings. According to the Ministry of Transportation, almost half of all fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections. It is important to note that this law will not take effect until January.
Motorists that open the door of their vehicle without checking and strike a cyclist will be faced with a fine of $365 and three demerit points upon conviction. Further, drivers are required to provide at least one meter of space between their vehicle and the cyclist wherever possible.
The “Move” Over Law
Drivers must slow down and move to the side of the road when they see a stopped emergency vehicle with its red and blue lights flashing. This law will also apply to to stopped tow trucks that have amber lights flashing. The fine for violating these driving laws will be $490 and three demerit points.
Alcohol and Drugs
The ministry states that under the new driving laws, individuals caught driving under the influence of drugs will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers. This includes between a 90-day license suspension and a week long impoundment. This law was implemented because according to the Ministry of Transportation, more than 45% of drivers killed in Ontario were found to have drugs or alcohol in their system.
As of the spring, it is expected that there will be an expansion of licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay Provincial Offences Act fines for offences such as speeding, improper lane changes, illegal turns, driving without insurance and careless driving.
Have you Been Charged?
If you have been charged with any of the offences listed above or have questions regarding the new laws, please contact our experienced team at Smordin Law. We are happy to assist you with all of your questions and criminal law matters.